Somewhere in mid-2017 when I was starting to experience panic attacks, I reached out to one of my close friend in South Africa and told her about my condition. She was someone I shared everything with and always took advice from whenever I needed one.
Panic attack is a condition where extreme anxiety takes over your body and in my case I felt severe uneasiness in my chest which pretty much felt like a heart attack.
When I informed my friend about my condition the first thing she told me was, it was about time I started seeing a Psychologist. While she was always there to chat with me and comfort me, it was not the same as speaking with someone face-to-face.
So I started seeing Aarathi Selvan and opened up about my issues with her. It was confirmed in my initial sessions that I had severe anxiety which didn’t come as a surprise to me but Aarathi also revealed that I had Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is a condition that would stay with me forever and the only way out is for me to find ways to minimise the impact it can have on me. And now I am well on my way in learning to cope with it and not let it affect my life.
Anyway as I began to dig deep and open up more and more with Aarathi, I started to sense relief. This is due to the fact that I started to speak up with someone instead of keeping thoughts to myself and replaying those thoughts again and again in my mind, only to cause more distress to my body and soul.
The reason why I did not express my feelings in the past was lack of Confidence and Self-Identity. Besides I was also concerned that people would judge me.
Judge me for being the imperfect guy that I am. Judge me for being someone who had no desire or no clue about life and what to do with it. Judge me for my low self confidence. Judge me for being introvert and not initiating conversations. As a shy guy, whenever the attention was on me I used to feel embarrassed.
Being judged is apparently the major reason why people don’t tend to open up but in reality people do not think about us as much as we think they do.
The burden of holding on to my negative feelings and thoughts did have a negative impact on me. It felt like a rock on my head and it paralysed me from experiencing positive emotions for well over two decades.
Not anymore. Now I know that there is someone whom I can trust and meet to discuss any issue that is bothering me.
Every time I go in for a session with Aarathi I know that I can speak my mind without anyone judging me and I come out feeling relaxed for having expressed myself. It feels like half my problems vanish just by expressing my feelings and thoughts. And then this liberates my soul and helps me start looking at things in a more positive and clear way.
Besides, talking to a Psychologist also helped me understand myself better and gave me a clear picture of who I was, what my strengths were and how I could use them to become a better person.
Normal people might have friends or loved ones with whom they can discuss anything and experience this feeling of letting things off their chest every now and then but the depressed souls are usually lonely and feel stressed out. They are scared to open up as they fear being judged for who they are. I used to feel the same but now I am glad that I decided to see a Psychologist before things were going from bad to worse.